Why I Supported the Devlin Tech Park Rezoning

Why I Supported the Devlin Tech Park Rezoning

Tuesday’s rezoning puts the Devlin property in line with a development pattern that began in 2015, part of an effort to dismantle the Stone Haven Town Center proposal parcel by parcel, one data center project at a time. (View a timeline of these efforts here.) This left the current Board with a difficult choice: Leave the existing Devlin zoning, allowing new housing to be surrounded by intense data center use. Or, rezone the property to allow for less intensive data center use adjacent to the Data Center Overlay and separated from existing housing by Devlin and Linton Hall roads, with 85 acres of open space serving as a buffer along Chris Yung Elementary School and Lanier Farms.  

For those who have spoken against this rezoning, either directly with me or during the impassioned Public Hearing, please know that I hear and understand your concerns. I am committed to pushing for data center applicants to follow the highest industry standards and to enhance the County’s internal resources for regulating and enforcing mitigation in areas such as noise pollution, viewshed, and environmental concerns. We can and must do a better job of managing this industry, achieving a better balance between neighborhood protections and growing our commercial tax base. It is my hope that in the new term, my colleagues will support my call for bringing the County’s Computers and Peripherals tax rate more in line with surrounding jurisdictions, requiring this lucrative industry to pay more of its fair share in our community.

We can’t unwind the legacy of those who fought – and continue to fight – against meeting the housing needs of Prince William County. However, we can learn from our past and make more thoughtful choices. It is time to start building a new legacy, and I look forward to robust public discussions around this in the new term. To those who have been reaching out on this topic: Please remain engaged; your voice can help shape what comes next for our community.